The Aam Aadmi Party has alleged that there’s been a scam in a recent order of procurement of medical instruments in Karnataka, by the Department of Logistics & Warehousing under Health Minister K Sudhakar. AAP Karnataka President Mohan Dasari alleged that the procurement of instruments under Sudhakar is a case of misuse of power wherein government norms were flouted by favouring a particular corporation. He also claimed that in the process, it has caused a loss of over Rs 25 crore to the state treasury.
The State Health Department had procured Bio-Chemistry and Hematology [study of blood, blood-forming organs and blood diseases] instruments from a Japanese firm. The firm has two sets of the instrument—a three-part instrument and a five-part instrument. The Karnataka Government has bought the three-part instrument through tenders for Rs 2 lakh each, while the five-part instrument cost Rs 8 lakh. The Karnataka government has procured as many as 1,210 Hematology instruments in total.
“The Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and New Delhi governments procured the same instruments from the same firm for half the price. Karnataka government in the procurement of these instruments is spending over Rs 25 crore more than the market price. The tender was announced as a short-term wherein qualifications cannot be changed as mentioned in KPTT Act. And a single-bidder tender cannot be passed either. However, the norms were flouted,” said Mohan Dasari.
He alleged that it was due to the minister’s vested interests that he passed the tender. “It is clear that there is a vested interest of Sudhakar in dealing with the firm for a commission. From the date of purchase, the equipment has to be delivered and installed within 21 days. It’s been two months since the order was passed in February and only 40% of the order has been delivered and even, those instruments have not been installed said the hospital staff when we contacted them,” he added.
The AAP is demanding the government to initiate an investigation over the irregularities in the finances of the Health Ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The party state president said they will lodge a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau and Lokayukta to “fight the corruption in the Health Ministry legally if the government does not probe into this.”